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Nikon D3x is good (from Chase Jarvis and others)

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Update: this is how Chase answered my question on the noise level issues: "I didn't experience any unjust noise at 800 with properly exposed images. 1600 even looked nice. I ultimately might be willing to shoot the D3 at higher ISO than the D3x, but that's really transcending what the D3x is meant for... Compared to other cameras at that D3x res, even 800-1600 is a total score" (source). I do believe him.

Chase Jarvis just completed the first national ad campaign shot with the Nikon D3x. His opinion on the D3x: "I am loving it". No problems reported. You can see all of his D3x videos here.

I received a single report of a faulty D3x and it was something not related to the noise levels (I got a screenshot of the service order, so the issue was real but an isolated incident). Given the number of readers we have, I think we can conclude that Thom's problem was an unique quality assurance issue and and should not be a concern at that point.

A reader (thanks John) created a side by side comparison of D3 and D3x at various ISOs (100-1600). Check it out here: http://www.jonmccormack.com/d3x.html

Another set of D3x crops from reader: http://www.garethhacon.com/portfolio46726.html

I also got some D3x shots in the Nikon Rumors group on flickr:

This entry was posted in Nikon D3x, Nikon D90. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • ken rocky

    Well that’s what I thought until I saw the price…

  • Ken Rockwell

    NEW: Leica M7 Review. Finally, an inexpensive and superior solution to the D3X problem.

    Am I crazy? Yes, but I’m even cheaper than I am crazy.

    You can buy a new Leica M7 for half the price of a D3X, and in 2011 when the Nikon D4 is forecast to be announced, you can sell your used M7 for twice what you’ll get for an old D3X.

    The M7 has been out since 2002. I bought this used M7 for one-fifth the cost of a D3X.

    I’m sick and tired of sending thousands of dollars to Japan every week they come out with a new camera. The guys you see swooning over new cameras in advertisements are compensated for their endorsements.

    This time, $8,000 was too much. It turned me to looking for better solutions, and found it. I sent that same money to Americans (used) and Germany (new) for some real cameras and lenses.

    I’m dead serious: I don’t have a D3X. I got my $8,000 back, and I know others who’ve done the same thing. If you’ve got eight grand to burn, the D3X is the best there is this week, but I’d rather keep my eight grand. I’m waiting for the D700X.

  • greg

    I think Chase Jarvis is pretty cool and he doesn’t pull his pants up to his belly button like ken rockwell. However, Chase is in bed with Nikon and Hasselblad and is basically filming a commercial for Nikon. Do you really expect him to point out any flaws in the D3X?

    ken is confused about what he really wants. IMO ken is a hobbyist photographer while Chase is a pro. Look at their websites. ken can talk about composition and the camera doesnt matter yada yada yada and ps buy from my links and ps he dicideddigital now sucks. I agree the D3x is expensive and will not buy it. ken doesn’t realize his site is read by amatuers, not pros. amatuers want digital. You get the instant gratification and feedback to allow you to see how settings can affect the image. This is tough for film users because the feedback loop with film is typically days for an amateur.

    ken you just pulled a Dixie Chicks move by trashing your fan base.

    • Eh?

      You obviously read a different Ken from me. I think you will find almost every page of his site states that film is what you should be shooting!

      No, the camera doesn’t matter – this goes back to the ‘pros’ with ludicrously small endowments who need the most expensive, physically largest camera combined with the biggest lens to balance out their NOT equine like reproductive kit and their shockingly poor artisitc talent.

      The great artists paint – the others pick up a camera.

      Oh, I know you will repost about how wrong I am but the reality is – go to any art college around the world – that those who study photography do it as a last gasp to get into art college.

      OF COURSE, there are exceptions – and though it was years before I realised it, it turns out that every photographer that I do rate started out as a real artist studying the real arts before finding a love of photography and that is the way it is with them and should be for everyone.

      If you can’t paint the image with your own freehand (or could if you had the time) then you shouldn’t be allowed to press the shutter oin a camera.

      Ken is read by an enormous amount of people – not just amatuers. A better analysis is that Ken is read by Nikon users – of all levels – yes, I know a few that make their living from photography and so I’d call them Pro’s… though they would shirk at the idea as they are all proper artists first… and they all love when he tread on a tricky subject.

      When you speak to real Pros – who are out around the world and covering wars etc or those who do wedding shoots etc you see many of them agree with Ken.

      The only people I know who shoot RAW for example, are the same people who spend all day on the internet and like to test lenses against test charts, rather than the real world, and then they go lick some more grapes of the wall.

      • greg

        Eh?

      • Ricky G

        Ken is confused? And you are what? I read your post and don’t know whether you are saying he says digital is good or digital sucks or he is saying film or not film.

        I agree with Eh? Ken is great and I love his pants and the way they ride his belly button.

        Yah! for Ken!

      • Eric B

        Heres a radio interview with ken… given the pitch of his voice, one might hazard a guess that he is one of those with “small manhoods” who needs to own and shoot really big and expensive cameras to “compensate”

        http://kenrockwell.com/radio/audio/ken-rockwell-interview_5-4-06.mp3

      • connor

        Comments like this are really annoying, maybe you can paint. Good for you. But you don’t have to come and be-little other people because you’re a “true artist” or whatever. It’s okay to have your opinions, but you don’t have to be a jerk.

  • Englischmann

    Why are all the test shots in RAW. Who shoots in RAW any longer?

    Haven’t done that since the D200 was introduced and I earn over $100k per year on the back of my work.

    Really, you should shoot film anyway, but if slumming it in the digital world for a bit, the gear available now negates the need for RAW. My D3 is spot on – without fail, every time, – that I don’t need RAW – even though I put it in some extreme situations.

    Creating work for yourself – still I guess that’s what amateurs do, then they go on internet and post messages.

    • Anonymous

      Most non-hobbyist photographers shoot in RAW. Some don’t think it’s necessary, but if you want ultimate quality, that’s the way to go.

      • Busted Mate!

        Nonesense – my friends shoot commercially – make a fortune! – and shoot FINE JPEGS – always!

        YOU ARE FALLING FOR THE MARKETING PRITTLE PRATTLE THAT THE SOFTWARE COMPANIES SPLURGE FORTH EVERY SECOND DAY. TRUST ME ON THIS – I MAY BE AN AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER BUT I AM ALSO AN IT PROFESSIONAL – FUNNILY ENOUGH IN SOFTWARE MARKETING AT MOMENT.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      Most people? Do you have some statistics on that? I’m not going to even guess what most people do. Nor do I really care as a professional, so long as it doesn’t hinder my work.

      To me, jpegs look like shit, and Tiffs are unnecessarily large. Raw is a nice compromise between the two. My workflow is quite quick with PS3 and ACR.

      Storage is a non-issue since it’s paid for by clients. Speed is a non-issue since download takes 4 mins for a full 16gb card and my computer sees and processes nef and jpg with equal quickness. So does my camera and card.

      Raw is for people with up to date computer systems that can handle it. And those who demand ultimate image quality. And for those who know how to extract that extra information/quality from RAW.

      If you don’t know how to get more out of RAW, then it’s not for you. Just like 9 fps and kickass weather sealing, you get RAW as a pro level feature which some people know what to do with.

      A former employer insisted on using f22 on his 1ds level camera and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t sharper. He can’t tell the difference between RAW and jpeg either. The man still makes a living and for the most part, gets the results he wants. That doesn’t mean that his work couldn’t be improved by some technical knowledge and features that he isn’t using.

      But hey, don’t take my word for it, try it.

      If it doesn’t work for you, then stick with what does. But don’t try and make pointless statements about what “most” people do, because that’s useless information, that you don’t even have.

      • Busted Mate!

        JPEG v RAW v TIFF. I am just an amateur – with several pro friends though, including one who shoots for National Geographic on occasion – they all shoot JPEG. “Get it right in camera” they say, “just like when you used to shoot film”.

        I am an amateur photographer but I am an IT professional and have to pull you up on your understanding of the formats from a technology perspective.

        What do you store your RAW files as once you have corrected your errors when you took the image – you say JPEGS are crap (nonesense – YES, nonesense – my friends have billboards the size of small countries outside major aiports around the world printed from JPEGs) – but you add TIFF is too big.

        God help you if you are storing as RAW files. A totally variable format that is unlikely to remain the same for long. Regardless how the format develops, I can guarantee that anything you store today as RAW will be unreadable within 7 years – yes there is a reason I specify 7.

        You confuse me slightly though as “storage is a non-issue since its paid for by the client” and yet “TIFFs are unnecessarily large” Which is it cos I am confused?

        • http://micahmedia.com Micah

          Ok, Tiffs are unneccesarily large on a card, since they take up as much as double the space on a card in the camera, forcing me to have to change cards sooner, and taking far too long to clear from the buffer. Large/fine jpgs do save some space on the card, but don’t really save much time in writing to the card. Nefs and jpegs write to a fast card in under a second per image and TIFFs take a little under 3 seconds per image (on my equipment).

          Getting it right in camera is exactly what I like to do. However, this is not always possible. I find I can remove color casts/balance color with much more latitude in a RAW workflow. I shoot weddings, so I have to produce many quality images to please a client. Many more than would fit in a magazine. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to work for a magazine and choose the most striking shots with a proper editor. Right now I have to catch every “important moment” and I don’t always have time to white balance before each shot, and auto-wb is still not perfect under artificial light (though getting better every gen I see).

          I will admit to using jpegs for volume product shots strobes. But if it’s going to be used for anything past 8×10, RAW still goes further.

          I don’t like the in camera processing of jpegs or the identical results Capture NX2. I can get far more information out of a file when shot RAW and run through ACR.

          I store RAWs on DVD and jpegs on cd. A full dvd burns in about the same time as a cd on my computer. I have off site storage of a copy of both cd and dvd and keep more recent stuff on an external hard drive for easy access.

          I guess we could go back and forth about RAW and jpeg ad nauseum, but instead I’ll take a shot and give you details at 100% to illustrate what I’m talking about.

          I’ll post it as a comment here and admin feel free to repost someplace else if you like.

          • http://micahmedia.com Micah

            Sun already set here. I’ll post a throwaway tomorrow if I get a chance.

            It doesn’t bother me that someone might do something different. But people talking out of their ass drives me up a wall.

            I’ll be back with examples.

  • Pablov

    I am switching to Canon – I can’t take this anymore.

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

    Pablov, is that really you? I can’t believe that – this is not your style :)

    • Pablov

      IT WASN’T ME………. someone used my nick……

      fortunately, he/she couldn’t use my avatar :)

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

        you see it was worth to add those avatars :)

  • MB

    It seams everyone one here is shooting D3, nothing less.

    I think it is more probable that just a few people here are shooting anything at all.

    Most of the posts here are from a bunch of guys dreaming about the equipment they don’t really need and don’t know how to use too, or as some like to put it, they are just talking about it and not really doing it. I will remind them of something that they have probably forgotten and will sound as a surprise to them; cameras are really made for making pictures you know.

    High-end equipment, strangely enough just like low-end one, has higher rate of less than optimal copies. On the lower end this renders copies useless and calls for replacement, but on high-end it is just a matter of adjustment and sometimes on a regular basis too, and it is necessity when you are aiming for perfection, something most of you people would not even notice.

    Of course some of us are making a living from selling photo gear and we really do love people that are spending loads of money, so please go on and change your gear every other month please.

    In the meantime we are missing all that new products that this site should really be about, like new lenses, brand new Dx000 line of Nikon cameras …

    • I Bow Before U

      You have just posted what I have long suspected. I am just a little beaby amateur who loves making shots – I saved and got a D700 before the price increases but had only a D70s before that. I sometimes check this site in the morning, go away shooting – macro usually – for 8 hours – come back to the site and sometimes see the same people have posted all day!

      I think many don’t even have a box brownie and if they did they really wouldn’t know what to do.

      I have drawn the conclusion that it is all a farce – DO YOU REALLY THINK SOCCER STARS SIT WRITING ON SPORTS/FOOTBALL FORUMS – NO, THEY ARE OUT PRACTICING!

      The guy above raving about JPEG v RAW v TIFF. I am just an amateur – with several pro friends though, including one who shoots for National Geographic on occasion – they all shoot JPEG. “Get in right in camera” they say, “just like when you used to shoot film”.

      As I say I am an amateur photographer but I am an IT professional and have to pull you up on your understanding of the formats from a technology perspective.

      What do you store your RAW files as once you have corrected your errors when you took the image – you say JPEGS are crap (nonesense – YES, nonesense – my friends have billboards the size of small countries outside major aiports around the world printed from JPEGs) – but you add TIFF is too big.

      God help you if you are storing as RAW files. A totally variable format that is unlikely to remain the same for long. Regardless how the format develops, I can guarantee that anything you store today as RAW will be unreadable within 7 years – yes there is a reason I specify 7.

      You confuse me slightly though as “storage is a non-issue since its paid for by the client” and yet “TIFFs are unnecessarily large” Which is it cos I am confused?

      • Nikonuser

        I’m sorry but you shoot in RAW and your post production work is saved in JPEGs for transport. If you do any print, then TIFF. There is something about having 14-16 bit and uncompressed that you will never get back if you start in a compressed JPEG format.
        And if you did any post production work, no-one saves in JPEG for this.
        Of course if you really want to “Get in right in camera”, then whats the point of shooting digitally hence even discussing anything about the D3X.

        I own a D3x, when I purchased this camera I understood the limitation and difference between this and the other Nikon bodies that I own, D3/D700. I do no use this camera in the same maner as I would my D3. It is perfect for landscape and in studio. I wouldnt say it has the colour tone as the Hassy. But anyone is strongly mistaken if they purchased or thinking of this camera and using in the same maner as they would the D3. I love the D3 it is a amazing everyday camera and amazing at high ISO. The D3x dont expect the same, enjoy the high pixel count as when you crop in and crop in like you never could in the D3/D700 you will notice how sharp and clear your images are.

        As for Ken Rock… well I might not agree with everyhing you post on your site, but I do vist yeah now and then..

  • nik

    had the d3x in my hands but decided to pickup canon 5d mark2 , 50mm 1.2 , 85mm 1.2 and 70-200mm 2.8 for the same price.
    i still love my d3 with my zoom lense for birds and sports.
    tne new canon for people

  • http://www.google.com dudeguy

    It’s ok to have a comment.

  • http://www.ryanhollowayphotography.com Ryan Holloway

    Well didn’t think it was gonna be bad…..

    Ryan

    http://www.ryanhollowayphotography.com

  • Pablov

    new look :)

  • http://www.anthonybaileyphotography.com Tony

    All I can say is I WANT ONE!!!!!!!

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